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Creating media placeholders

From: Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

Video: Creating media placeholders

Although Photoshop can handle video files, it's a great idea to just use something called a placeholder when you want to express where media is supposed to go in your web site designs. Otherwise you are going to wind up with some really big PSD files that won't be easily transferable from computer to computer, and you might actually irritate the developer that you hand off your designs to as well, because nobody wants a few-gigabyte file just because there's a video embedded in there somewhere. So in order to keep your PSD flexible and nimble, just use something called a placeholder. In this movie, we are going to be exploring how to build that right here.

Creating media placeholders

Although Photoshop can handle video files, it's a great idea to just use something called a placeholder when you want to express where media is supposed to go in your web site designs. Otherwise you are going to wind up with some really big PSD files that won't be easily transferable from computer to computer, and you might actually irritate the developer that you hand off your designs to as well, because nobody wants a few-gigabyte file just because there's a video embedded in there somewhere. So in order to keep your PSD flexible and nimble, just use something called a placeholder. In this movie, we are going to be exploring how to build that right here.

So the first thing I am going to look for is this rectangle here. That's actually where the video is supposed to go. Now, technically I could just leave us alone and call this the video placeholder, but it's not very indicative of what I want to go here. It basically just looks like a black hole where nothing is. So what I want to do is use this as a guide. Remember, this is part of my original mockup to insert something on top of it that fits its exact form factor. In order to do that, what I am going to do is bring in something that's called a poster image. Most videos that you see online contain an image representing what is going be played when you click the Play button.

You see it on YouTube, Vimeo, all of these different sites, and that image is called a poster. And so what I'm going to do is actually bring in a file into Photoshop and use that as my poster image. So I am going to go File > Place, and I am going to find video poster.jpg and that's inside of my chapter 8 exercise files folder. I will hit Place, and it places it right in there. And I'm just going to line it up. It doesn't matter that it's not in the right stacking order right now. I am just going to line it up with that, and I'll shrink it down until it snaps right to the dimensions of that video placeholder. And I'll hit Enter or Return.

And now I can take this rectangle and I can actually throw it away. Since the video poster is part of the homepage, I can take that now and drop it directly into the content home folder. And since it's a Smart Object, I can actually go and edit that independently of this design. So let's do that now. Let's find video poster, which I just dropped into the content home folder; double-click on the layer icon; and that opens up in its own document for me. Now I am going to add some things to this to make it look more like a video.

So the first thing I am going to do is duplicate my Background layer, and then I will select the original Background layer. And I'm going to make black or a dark gray my foreground color, and I am going to fill in the Background with black using Option+Delete or Alt+Backspace on my keyboard. I could also just go to Edit > Fill and select black. And then I'm going to select layer 1, which is the robot, and I am going to lower the Opacity of this layer to about 70%. If you want to do that quickly, just select your Move tool and then hit the number 7 on your keyboard.

That will dim it down a little bit. If it's still too bright, maybe back it down to about 50%. That looks good. Now, I'm going to utilize my shape tools. So I will come over here, click and hold on the rectangle, and use Custom Shape tools. Then I am going to go into my shapes. Now I have already got all of the shapes loaded. Your shapes might look something like this. Let me reset them, hit OK. Just go up to the top, choose All, and hit OK. Now you have all of the shape tools available to you in Photoshop.

Now I am going to scroll down, and what I'm looking for is a rounded triangle to draw a play button. So once I scroll down, I am going to notice right here in the signs that I have this little guy right here, and I am going to select that to surround the triangle. It's called sign 3. And I will come out in to the canvas area after I close that up, and I am just going to draw out a triangle that looks something kind of like a play button, like that. And I'll take this and I will switch to my Move tool, and I'm going to bring up Free Transform, Command+T or Ctrl+T, and I'll rotate this until it's pointing to the right.

I might even shrink it up a little bit. It's okay. Hit Enter to commit, and I want to change the color, so I will double-click the layer thumbnail, turn it white, here we go. And I'm going to give it a drop shadow, so I will double-click out to the right, give it a drop shadow, set the Distance to 0, increase the size a little bit, back down the Opacity to about 60, and hit OK. So there's my play button. Now I am going to center this on the page, so I am going to use Command+A or Ctrl+A to select everything. Then I will just use the center buttons in the Alignment panel.

Now, I am going to go back to my Shapes, grab the Ellipse tool, and I am just going to hold down the Shift key and draw out a shape, something like this. I'll take that and drag it underneath my play button. Then I am going to make sure I have my Ellipse tool selected again. In the Options bar, I am going to set the Fill to None, set the stroke to white, and change the width of the stroke to something like 8 points.

Then I want the same drop shadow applied to this, so I will take the fx icon here, hold down my Option or Alt key, click, and drag. Then I'll release my mouse and release the Option or Alt key. Then I am going to switch to my Move tool and I'll use my arrow keys to nudge this into place so that it looks pretty good, something like that. Now with all this done, I'll hit Save. Since it was a JPEG, it's going to ask me to save it as a PSD file, and that's okay.

I will just save it to my Desktop for now and hit Save. Hit OK. There we go! Now, I will close this up. Now when I get back into Photoshop, you are going to notice that it doesn't update. That's because I didn't save it as a JPEG. So what I have to do, toss this away, File > Place. On my desktop, there's video poster, place it in, snap it to the dimensions, and there we go.

There's my video poster. It looks like I could just click on it and play the video right there. Now, one last little touch. I'm going to double-click out to the right of it. I am going to add a stroke, Inside, something like 5 pixels, change the Color to white, add a drop shadow, 45% for the Opacity, 0 for the Distance, 5 for the Size, and 5 for the Spread.

Hit OK. Now I am going to temporarily turn off my extras by going to View > Extras, and there you can see there's my video placeholder with a nice frame around it, just like the outside of my design, and it looks really good. So I started off with a plain JPEG and wound up with this nice media placeholder, which saves me a ton of space as opposed to actually embedding the video directly within the file. So the next time you have to showcase where media is supposed to go in your designs, try mocking up a small placeholder like this, as opposed to just interjecting the actual file.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 for Web Design
Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

75 video lessons · 49502 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
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  1. 1m 9s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. Using the exercise files
      21s
  2. 25m 50s
    1. Designing for screens
      1m 8s
    2. Decoding screen size and resolution
      3m 9s
    3. Exploring the PSD-to-HTML workflow
      2m 25s
    4. Setting up Photoshop for web work
      5m 29s
    5. Creating a new document for web
      2m 36s
    6. Creating a new document for mobile
      4m 24s
    7. Setting up a responsive web layout
      3m 31s
    8. Creating email newsletter documents
      3m 8s
  3. 20m 39s
    1. Adjusting color settings
      4m 13s
    2. Understanding web color
      4m 0s
    3. Creating a color palette
      4m 56s
    4. Creating custom swatches
      3m 34s
    5. Applying color to shapes and graphics
      3m 56s
  4. 20m 36s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 9s
    2. Renaming and grouping layers
      7m 19s
    3. Searching and filtering layers
      3m 11s
    4. Using layer comps effectively
      3m 4s
    5. Using automatic layer selection
      2m 53s
  5. 29m 2s
    1. Using vector shapes vs. pixel shapes
      3m 31s
    2. Creating vector shapes
      5m 2s
    3. Working with fills and strokes
      4m 36s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      7m 47s
    5. Importing images
      3m 57s
    6. Cropping and resizing images
      4m 9s
  6. 28m 48s
    1. Planning your project
      3m 13s
    2. Using guides and rulers
      6m 40s
    3. Using a grid system
      8m 28s
    4. Developing a layout with shape layers
      4m 4s
    5. Making pixel-perfect adjustments
      6m 23s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Using point text vs. paragraph text
      2m 10s
    2. Using text as text vs. using text as an image
      2m 47s
    3. Understanding web-safe fonts
      2m 41s
    4. Inserting placeholder text
      4m 2s
    5. Creating and using character styles
      2m 37s
    6. Creating and using paragraph styles
      6m 11s
    7. Creating editable 3D text
      2m 51s
  8. 26m 54s
    1. Understanding layer styles
      7m 0s
    2. Creating and using drop shadows
      3m 23s
    3. Creating better bevels
      6m 9s
    4. Simulating metallic textures
      5m 8s
    5. Saving and applying layer styles
      2m 48s
    6. Turning layer styles into independent layers
      2m 26s
  9. 50m 23s
    1. Starting with a wireframe
      54s
    2. Organizing page structure
      2m 29s
    3. Adding master elements
      5m 37s
    4. Creating navigation
      4m 36s
    5. Working with photographs
      4m 0s
    6. Working with text
      8m 31s
    7. Creating media placeholders
      7m 22s
    8. Creating buttons
      7m 15s
    9. Creating form fields
      7m 54s
    10. Simulating pages with layer comps
      1m 45s
  10. 33m 38s
    1. Understanding slicing
      2m 4s
    2. Slicing up a mockup
      4m 15s
    3. Understanding web file formats
      4m 3s
    4. Exploring the Save for Web dialog
      5m 3s
    5. Optimizing photographs
      4m 17s
    6. Optimizing transparent graphics
      4m 56s
    7. Saving Retina display graphics
      5m 34s
    8. Using the Image Generator (NEW)
      3m 26s
  11. 10m 40s
    1. Understanding image sprites
      1m 25s
    2. Creating a sprite grid
      2m 54s
    3. Assembling a sprite
      4m 51s
    4. Optimizing sprites for the web
      1m 30s
  12. 18m 6s
    1. Creating a basic action
      5m 28s
    2. Exploring batch processing
      2m 55s
    3. Creating droplets
      3m 20s
    4. Using the Fit Image command
      4m 5s
    5. Using the Image Processor
      2m 18s
  13. 6m 56s
    1. Integrating PSD files with Dreamweaver
      3m 22s
    2. Integrating PSD files with Fireworks
      1m 59s
    3. Integrating PSD files with Muse
      1m 35s
  14. 50s
    1. Goodbye
      50s

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